A fast track court here on Saturday convicted 13 people for arson and other crimes in cases of rioting in Orissa’s Kandhamal district in 2008 and sent them to five years of imprisonment, even as it let off 17 others for lack of evidence.

Fast Track Court-I Judge Sobhan Kumar Das also imposed a fine of Rs 2,500 on the convicts for torching of houses in Sarangarh area in the district between August and October, 2008.

The court acquitted 17 others for lack of evidence, while 18 others were acquitted in another case of arson at Phiringia area.

In another case, the court sentenced two persons to rigorous imprisonment for five-year and imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 on each of them for arson at Ranjabadi village in Tikabali area in the district.

Fast Track Court-II Judge C R Das acquitted four persons for violence in Baliguda area of the district.

Kandhamal, about 200 k.m. from here, witnessed widespread violence following murder of VHP leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati on August 23, 2008.

Keywords: KandhamalriotschristiansVHP

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